From Castle Black to cutting edge
HE TOOK lives on Game of Thrones, but now Owen Teale's saving them on Pulse.
The Welsh actor stars opposite Claire van der Boom in the ABC's new medical drama.
Inspired by the true story of a transplant patient who became a doctor, the drama follows high-flier Frankie Bell (van der Boom) as she embarks on a new career thanks to a successful kidney transplant.
When viewers first meet Frankie she is in her second year as a practising doctor starting her first day in a renal rotation under the supervision of the man who saved her life, Professor Chad Burger (Teale).
She's driven to use her second chance to save others, but she's vulnerable to infection.
"To be somebody as vulnerable as that - immune suppressed - working in hospitals, where people are walking through the door every five minutes not knowing what diseases they're carrying, is brave to the point of incredulity," Teale tells The Guide.
"Frankie and Chad have this beautifully written relationship as a doctor to a patient, which then develops into being a mentor to a pupil and then, unwittingly, he becomes the patient himself and she becomes the doctor when he's diagnosed with a brain tumour."
Teale says he struck up an instant chemistry with van der Boom, best known for Rush and Love My Way.
"What a remarkable actress," he says. "You can be a very good actor but it doesn't mean you'll be watchable for a whole series. The audience has to stay with you and not get tired of you and care about you.
"We finished a scene the other day and I said to Claire 'that was the most intense relationship I've had on screen without it being a romance'."
The series was a welcomed return to Australia for Teale, who travelled to Sydney in 2004 with the West End play Dance of Death.
"It was spectacular in the way that Sydney can be; the harbour, the beaches, the night life - it's like being in Disneyland," he says. "One of the many things I'm going to miss is the light here in Australia."
So does Teale cop much flak from the public for playing the man who killed Game of Thrones' beloved hero Jon Snow?
"I think people must be afraid of me; they don't come up to me and say things about that," he laughs.
"No matter where I am what they do say, which is very interesting, is they say I found him (Jon Snow) a bit too wet but when he had to fight against (your character) Thorne I liked him more'.
"I can die easy on that one. Clearly it gives so many people so much fulfillment."
Pulse also stars Susie Porter, Andrea Demetriades and Liam McIntyre.
Pulse premieres tonight at 8.30pm on the ABC.